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Everyone can sell… But how do you sell if you hate selling?

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If your health and fitness club, gym, or leisure centre team hates selling, then all is not lost.  That’s because there are a number of tools you can use which will ensure that every member of your team has the understanding and capabilities to be able to subtly promote your health and fitness club, gym, or leisure centre to those all-important prospective new members.

The key to selling – especially when you’re not working as a sales person – is to think, act and believe that you can do things differently.  In the past, selling has had a bad reputation with pushy door-to-door and home improvement sales people top of the most hated list!  However, life has changed, and so has our attitude towards selling effectively.  Gone are the days of hard core and pressured sales (where invariably those new customers would cancel the purchase as soon as they arrived home).  Instead, a new generation of subtlety, educating, and nurturing is evolving.

Everyone can sell.  And every single member of your health and fitness club, gym, or leisure centre team should be developed and recognised so that they receive the training, skills and knowledge required to spot a prospective customer and begin the nurturing process.  From receptionists to admin staff, and personal trainers to your sales team, of course!  It’s essential you take the time and energy to invest in every member of your team.  Think of it as speculating to accumulate as you’ll reap the rewards in the medium to long term future.

Everyone can sell… So how do you encourage your team to think differently?

It’s important to start by coaxing and coaching your team members to think differently.  They are not pushing prospective customers into joining; they are simply helping them with the decision-making process and acting as great ambassadors and experts for your business. 

Furthermore, it’s important that every member of your team understands that by playing a small role in winning new business they are consequently securing the future of your health and fitness club, gym, or leisure centre – as well as their own job roles.

  1. For a start, ask your team members whether they have either ‘sold’ something to a friend, colleague or family member, or influenced them to do something they wanted them to do.  It could something as simple as persuading them to make a cup of tea or take on some extra work.  Maybe they influenced someone to try a new restaurant.  Perhaps they encouraged their child, or a niece or nephew, to do something new, such as an activity.  Or possibly they influenced their partner or family member to make a big lifestyle change, such as a new job.  This is an excellent demonstration of their ability to persuade, influence, and subsequently sell.
  2. Now, ask your team members to put themselves in their prospective customers’ shoes, and encourage them to change their mind-sets too.  For example, reception or admin staff are often the first representatives to greet a prospective new customer.  So to give them the skills they need to establish a relationship and create buying opportunities is crucial.  Your team members need to really understand the reasons why prospective customers will be looking to join your health and fitness club, gym, or leisure centre.  A new mum is struggling to shift her baby weight and she’s becoming depressed.  A retired man feels lonely and wants a new social outlet.  Or perhaps a lady has recovered from cancer and now feels she wants to do something big, such as running a marathon in aid of charity.  Exercising is daunting for those who are new to it, and for the three people in the examples above, fitness will have a truly profound effect on their lives.  And your team can help them.
  3. Prospective members are humans – not numbers or targets.  Encourage your team to think about their passion for fitness, and to employ this same level of excitement when talking to prospective customers.  Regular physical activity offers an array of essential body and lifestyle benefits, such as weight loss, muscle toning, a newfound confidence, a reduction in stress and tension, and improved sleep.  So with this in mind, it’s easy to promote the benefits to prospective customers – and there’s not even a hint of hard sell anywhere!
  4. Encourage your team members to practice influential communication techniques, and reassure them that selling is not being pushy… It’s merely helping prospective customers to make the right choice.  Practice makes perfect after all!  So inspire them to put their own ‘spin’ on these essential influencing, persuading and selling strategies as it’s important they sound natural, convincing and uncontrived.
  5. Brainstorm the products and services you and your team can sell – and encourage them to promote these ‘add on elements’ too.  Obviously, memberships are number one.  However, what about spa treatments and spa products, new fitness classes, coffees and post-workout snacks, personal training sessions, or protein bars and shakes.  The list is endless.
  6. And finally, reward your team for doing well.  Something as simple as a voucher or bottle of wine will go a long way towards ensuring effective sales become an established part of everyone’s daily job roles.  Furthermore, encourage your team to share their positive experiences and to inspire each other as a result.  And rather than hearing ‘I hate selling’ or ‘I can’t sell’, you will find there’s a positive shift towards a ‘can’ and ‘will’ attitude instead.

To find out more about how your health and fitness club, gym or leisure centre can get every team member selling, or for further information on the importance of leadership and sales coaching, training and mentoring, please call +44 (0) 7815 800 939 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. today.

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Guest Monday, 11 December 2017

Your knowledge, passion and expertise in helping us to find the right front of house staff has been invaluable. You have trained, inspired and developed our front of house staff to deliver exceptional service. How do we know this? Feedback about customer service from our tenants have improved and we will continue to work with you in the future. Thank you Nurturing Skills.

Rob Court, Training development for Guardian News and Media

Since the training has been delivered by Nurturing Skills we are monitoring sales and the process more closely. For example sales targets, enquiries to appointments, appointments to sales, and sales to referral are all monitored daily and as a result of the process we have increased.

  • Sales by 30%
  • Enquires to appointment by 70%
  • Appointment to sale by 55%
  • Point of sale referral by 45%

Barnsley Premier Leisure

For anyone looking to improve the sales performance, customer retention or customer service within their organisation, then there is no place better than to start with Lesley Aitken. Not only is she a charismatic trainer who is commercially astute but she quickly understands the needs of your business and puts them first before considering any monetary gain for her own organisation.

Trafford Community Leisure

Lesley Aitken is a very professional influential and highly passionate speaker. Highly interesting and motivational group coaching skills. Lesley has the ability to improve all major aspects of selling and the latest techniques to dramatically improve your business in just one day. An expert in her field and will get you and your colleagues the vital KPI's to improve your business.

General Manager at The Gym Group